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Grass Pack Vol. 1 Official Thread

Hey everybody I’m Jack!

I recently released a grass pack onto the Unreal Marketplace. After a period of time I realized I was way behind the curve on getting a thread started so here we are. Better late than never.

Description: This is a grass pack containing a total of 15 different grass meshes each with a unique material and texture. The pack contains 3 variations of bullrush, indian grass, switch grass, wheat grass, and yard grass.

With that said if any of you have any questions or concerns, feel free to post here or email me at my official email address: 1gameloper@gmail.com

Here’s a few higher res renders that you may be able to see better than in the marketplace:

Overgrown yard grass:

Wheat Grass:

Switch Grass:

Indian Grass:

I had a few people asking me about performance of the grass so here are my specs:

i7 2600 cpu
gtx 570
16 gb ram

I created the default terrain and filled it with the grass completely. They are all being drawn, none culled. It’s also on epic settings.

Before with nothing in the scene I was getting around 60 fps or so, and after placing everything in the way I did it dropped to 20fps.

Keep in mind this is using 1024x1024 texture map with no mips, and 3 different meshes being instanced.

Realistically this would be a poor use of optimizations for a game, but I just wanted to show worst case scenario of how much resources the grass could use.

Are there any LODs included?

Is a distance fade included in the material?

How much tris?

144, 126, and 108,

I get 30-40fps with over 600k instances with 4.7’s new foliage lighting model. No culling, no shadows, no mips.

After I do a little more optimization, namely enabling mip maps, and employing culling at around 20k, I get 80fps+ with 1.8m instances.

i5-2500k
16gb RAM
GTX 970

order66 - There are no lod’s. There is no distance fade. If either of these are requested features I’ll see what I can do to update the pack with both.

Crushed - Havoc is accurate with his response

Havoc - Holy **** man! That’s some insane counts.

**** thats really impressive, nice work!

Thanks man!

Made some banner art with the help of a friend for the grass pack (The grass in the image is the same as the yard grass that comes with the pack if anyone is wondering).

Looks sweet.
I’m sure pretty much everyone here’s interested in an improved-performance version which includes LODs and a simpler material version in the distance.
Performance is important and grass will be used alot. So please make sure it’s performance impact is as minimal as possible…! Thanks :smiley:

P.S.: Wheat and Switch grass look rather monochrome to me. Do they have diffuse textures?

Does the grass sway if there is wind?

Thanks for taking an interest in my pack everybody!

I’ll definitely be doing a major update this month including the following upgrades (that will be provided for free to those who already own the pack):

  • Swaying grass in the wind
  • Upgraded textures
  • 2 LOD’s added to the current LOD of each mesh

If anyone has any additional suggestions for an update feel free to post and I’ll put it on the list.

I’m thinking I’ll be updating each time I finish one of these milestones. The primary reason is I’m pretty cramped for time and I want to continue delivering content to make this pack even better.

Thanks for all of the support everyone!

I’d really love to buy your grass but there are a few things that are causing me serious hesitation:

  1. Hard edges and easily visible planes: http://i.imgur.com/4m0QVaW.jpg
    I understand grass is made of planes when used in video games, but there’s something about the blades that really show off the fact that these are just planes rotated a few times. I think part of it has to due with the fact that all of your grass blades come together at a visible point near the root instead of being more spread out, but I’m not sure that’s a complete (or even partial) cause. With the current geometry as it is, I’d have to do a lot of work to mask the planes.
  2. Superficial coloring on each blade isn’t a complete solution for showing variance in grass. If you added a material that took the world position and changed color based on that: Ulrich Thümmler Game & 3D Artist: UDK World Color you’d have a much more versatile asset.
  3. The wind is kindof a big deal as well. Many people ask for wind shaders, so for the sake of not simply repeating their request, I’d add that realistic wind is sometimes difficult to recreate. I’d swing back over to Ulrich’s website to check out his wind tutorials. Nature Environment in UE4 - Content Creation - Unreal Engine Forums

Awesome suggestions Zooch! I’ll be adding all of those elements to the list of things to do for sure. I hadn’t even thought of the color variation based on world position. Thanks for linking to some resources too man!

I was able to knock one the the to do’s off of the list today. I finished creating the LOD’s for each mesh and here are the specs as of current optimization:

  • LOD 0 (Just the normal grass): 108-144 tris
  • LOD 1 : 72-96 tris
  • LOD 2 : 48-64 tris

Tomorrow I will be tackling the wheat and switchgrass as they are way too monochrome. Color variation is desperately needed. Thanks for pointing that out jbjhjm!

What I might do when I get to making the wind for the grass is create a tier of materials.
Low material: What’s already there with just wind.
Med material: What’s there, wind, and soft edge blending to fix the harsh plane intersections
High material: What’s there, wind, soft edge blending, and sub surface scattering.

This way you guys have lots of options for various environment requirements to create massive fields or just little patches that might be placed around a flame that should receive light in a certain way.

Let me know your thoughts everyone. Feedback and suggestions for improvement will always be appreciated. They’ll be put on the list and I’ll be updating both the thread and the pack as often as I can.

Thanks again for the support everyone!

If you pull that off I’ll be buying immediately. :slight_smile:

How do you plan on achieving soft edge blending? That has to be done using translucent as the shading model (which has it’s own set of issues), right?

Hey everybody,

I’ve made some adjustments to how I’m going to be handling the updates going forward, and in what order I’ll be doing them in.

Updates:
1. LOD’s
2. Material tier system (all the bells and whistles that were mentioned in my previous post)
3. Improved textures

I’ll be contacting an Epic employee tomorrow to get the update rolling on the LOD’s in so we can get that up ASAP.

Zooch - Thanks! Your suggestions have been invaluable.

joshezzell - The soft edge blending is super easy to pull off, but for reasons I can’t really tell you how I’m going to do it (it will be available soon).

Again, thank you guys for the amazing support and the fantastic suggestions you guys have been giving me. It’s making this pack so much better!

@Jack M. – just this weekend I was looking at your pack and thinking … maybe I should buy it. Now with the inclusion of the LODs … consider it bought. 8-}

Update time!

I’ve submitted the LOD update for epic to put up onto the marketplace. As soon as they let me know when it’s online I will let you know.

Also I have set up the LOD’s to switch at a certain screen size ratio in which you can all change depending on your own requirements. Here’s an image of where those settings can be adjusted.

Also thanks qdelpeche! I’m glad that this was the deciding factor for you.

Hi ! I bought the pack yesterday - it seems that there is a bug ( I am using 4.6.1 ) - grass has very strong reflections and it casts very “dynamic” shadow, that constantly moves very rapidly, this shadow is similar to torch fire but is 10 times faster. I will try to record a video when I get back home. Regards